Saturday, August 27, 2011

“Baring Gifts”

She’s Marie Barone—on steroids       
baring gifts of guilt       
wrapped in gilded foil   
dripping honeyed compliments   
sprinkled with ground glass   
leaving you bleeding on the inside   
With a smile she blames you for her cruelty   
twisting her tales   
defending her intrusions   
she belittles you as she praises you   
tearing you down to control you   
with gossip she snatches away your privacy   
claiming she only acts with love   
Lock your doors   
Don’t let her in   

Copyright 2011 Elizabeth Abrams Chapman

Friday, August 26, 2011


Time pauses   
            when I dream of you   
                                    pulling me back through years   
            until I hear   
                        your booming laughter ricochet     
            You appear before me   
            I embrace your solidity   
                        catch a whiff of Old Spice,   
                                    pipe tobacco   
            My tiny hand clutches yours   
            I am your child   
                                    looking up into your deep brown eyes   
            You swing me up   
                        high onto your shoulders   
            I pat your chin—rough, unshaven   
                                    We stand in my front yard   
                                                hugging goodbyes   
                                                promising another visit   
            Plans cancelled by death   

Time pauses   
            when I dream of you   
                                    pulling me back through years   
            until I stand   
                        alone in the night   
            Suffering under the weight of grief   
            Conjuring you with my heartbreak   
                        your voice rises with enthusiasm   
                                    strengthens with determination     
            We argue politics   
            We agree to disagree   
                                    looking into your deep brown eyes    
            You vanish   
                        leaving me sorrowful   
            Regretting silly squabbles   
                                    I stand alone   
                                                searching for you     
                                                listening for your essence   
            Knowing you are gone forever   

Copyright 2011 Elizabeth Abrams Chapman

Thursday, August 25, 2011


He inters uninvited, a shadow cast across my bed   
He lurks just beyond my vision   
His onion breath jars me to alertness, yanking me out of sleep   
He lays heavy-limbed next to me   
He pins me under his arm, making it impossible to breathe   
His bristled beard rubs my shoulder raw   
In panic, I pull away   
I kick my feet free of the binding blankets   
I elbow him in the chest, desperate for escape   
Heart racing, I bolt from the bed to see him sneer in pleasure   
His victory rests in my wakefulness   
He silently slips from my bed when I turn on the light   
In triumph, he vanishes, a shadow in the night   

Copyright 2011 Elizabeth Abrams Chapman

Wednesday, August 24, 2011


Compassionate Mari       
            the land dies under summer’s cruelty   
            crops wither, leaf and fruit suffer       
            grasses scorch and burn   
    springs expose their bedrock     
    rivers recede, ponds evaporate to mist     
            livestock and wildlife die   

Hear my prayer   

 Gentle Mari   
            cry softly upon the Earth    
            soak our land with mercy   
            wash away our dust of prideful disbelief    
            shower kindness upon the fields               
            nourish our hopes with your grace   

 Copyright 2011 Elizabeth Abrams Chapman

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

“Hemming—No Hawing”

    A thread at the hem   
    pulled by fretting fingers out of carelessness   
    offered little resistance   
    as it reversed the zigzag    
    separating what was once unified   
    the pants are not ruined   
    no need for tossing them aside   
    a temporary repair—   
    tape running around the edge   
    gives a false sense of completeness   
    the illusion of security   
    buying only a little time   
    for tape can’t get wet    
    or resist heat   
    someone must run a new thread   
    through the nearly invisible eye of the needle   
    a steady hand and mind   
    focused upon stitching, repairing   
    mending what’s been rent    

Copyright 2011 Elizabeth Abrams Chapman

Monday, August 22, 2011

“Worst Case Scenario”

weakness tangles within rigidity   
and involuntary movement demands thought and discipline   
requiring repetition and obsession to manage endless days   
even as neurons decay 
no hope    
only loss crossed off the calendar day-by-day
the fight for dignity fatigues    
an unbearable weight constricting life   
she is Prometheus, bound   
punished for bringing enlightenment    
tortured in mind and body until eternity   

speech struggles against silence   
and suddenly words flee   
what is this?   
confusion adds to the overload   

helplessly caught in disintegration   
too much misplaced   
not enough forgotten   
gone too soon   
or not soon enough   

Copyright 2011 Elizabeth Abrams Chapman

Sunday, August 21, 2011

“In the Mirror”

gentles her face   
soothes away the old stress-etched lines   
            from her once pursed lips   
now she smiles   
radiant and relaxed   
her New Life lends   
            boldness to her laugh   
            confidence to her sensuality   
a glint of knowledge sparks mischief in her eyes   
experience strengthens her   
            steel wrapped in cotton   
subtle in her curves   
strong in her possibilities   

Copyright 2011 Elizabeth Abrams Chapman